Friday, December 28, 2007

And the announcers of the Maryland v Oregon State game just talked about the "casket" story... fantastic.
SA-Express published the Texas A&M Alamo Bowl roster. It is pretty worthless considering it lists two player that are not eligible to play in the Alamo Bowl (Mi Bennett and Jodie Richardson).

When Penn State has the ball, we need to "drive [their QB] from the pocket and require him to make split-second adjustments." We are screwed.

Note: A different analysis from the same news paper states that "Penn State is 7-0 when they run for 190 yards or more and 1-4 when they produce fewer yards." I didn't run the numbers, but that seems to be a pretty strong correlation. I will leave it up to the professionals at the four-letter network to decide if the stats indicate that we need to stop the run and the pass, or keep their offense off the field. I have a hard time figuring out which one is appropriate.

Penn State is ninth nationally in total defense and is "especially good against the run", but Les Koenning is in control of the offense and he "loves to throw the ball." We might not be screwed.
And we made DeadSpin, they usually have funnier comments...
And I am stuck in the St. Louis airport...

As you might expect, the comment by the now-on-his-way-home Yell Leader that the 81 year old Penn State coach Joe Paterno is "on his death bed and someone needs to find him a casket" has really fired up the Aggie-haters. Seems most of them are still mad at the "classless clowns" comment. Here are some of my favorite comments:
Robert: Just another example of Aggies being "classy".

13th Man: The real Classless Clowns just got booted off center stage.

Fran: This is just another example of the true "classless clowns" who represent Aggiedom.

MJS: They are embarrassing. There's got to be a way to keep them in Texas' "closet" as it were.

regskc: the gayest tradition in college sports

Dan: What he said is an embarrassment to A&M, and to an abomination to any decent individual.

Raider40: Go build a bonfire and try not to get anyone killed this time.
What did JoPa think? "Some young guy got up there and he's trying to be funny. Maybe he's accurate, I don't know. I honestly didn't hear it, and I don't particularly care about it."
San Diego Chargers tight ends coach Clancy Barone has agreed to become our next offensive coordinator. I am sure Barone is a good coach, but to specifically hire a tight ends coach is interesting given that: 1) we have one of the best tight ends, 2) the general feeling is that he was under utilized (although he was our #1 receiver with 45 catches, 541 yards, and 4 TDs), 3) he is about to jump to the NFL, and 4) Sherman has already pointed out to him how the Texans offense utilizes its tight ends. Is this hire a move to get Ma Bennett to stay, kind of like how Turge hired DeAndre Jordan's AAU coach Byron Smith?

McGee will have surgery after the Alamo Bowl to "get something cleaned up", which apparently happens when you play like McGee plays and "get the crap knocked out of you now and then."

Backup QB Jerrod Johnson is back with the team after taking some time off to be with his family after his father passed away. Jerrod's dad, Larry, was a receiver and defensive back for A&M from 1976-79.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I was excited when Gary Darnell was named interim head coach because he gives the best quotes. When asked about taking over after Fran, he said it "is like a family and brother got kicked out of the house and someone has to take care of the household until he gets things squared back away." That is magic.

We have two academically ineligible players: defensive end Michael Bennett and fullback Jodie Richardson. Penn State is down five players for a number of reasons, most exciting is a felony assault charge.
As a fan of Texas A&M football, bowl season does not bring me joy. In my lifetime we have had 17 tries, but have only brought back 6 bowls. Winning once every 4.5 years does not exactly equal happiness. So tonight, I will choose to stick my head in the sand, ignore the 5 1/2 points Vegas is giving us, and post about the obvious: Mike Goodson will not transfer to LSU, and J-Train will not jump to the NFL early. I am pretty sure no one was genuinely concerned about either of these thing happening. Goodson is set to jump to the NLF after his Junior year; if he goes to LSU he will have to sit out his Junior year. J-Train needs only look to the last over-sized A&M back to see how high fat guys get drafted.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The detail of the soon-to-be (staring in 2009) anual game between Texas A&M and Arkansas at the Dallas Cowboy's new stadium were released. The contract will last between six and eight years, and each team is guaranteed $5 million. In comparison, UT and OU are only getting $4.7 mil. HA!
As reported earlier, Arkansas interim head coach and defensive coordinator Reggie Herring will be the next brave soul to lead the squad formerly known as the Wrecking Crew. Major Applewhite may also be on our coaching staff next year (ya, I know) that is if he is willing to take a step backwards, from offensive coordinator at Alabama to coach at A&M, and a pay cut.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Texas A&M 88, UC Irvine 66

Living on the east coast means I watch most of my A&M basketball from the couch. However this year the scheduling gods were on my side, and I was able to combine a game into my holiday plans. What a game it was! UC Irvine "tried to play defense", but didn't have the size to keep up with our big men. The mismatch allowed us to get almost half our points (40) in the paint, and a number of spectacular dunks. The alley oop from Sloan to Junior was my favorite. I am not sure, but I think it was a no-look feed.

Even more amazing than the dunks was the fact that Joe Jones played 26 minutes and committed ZERO fouls! I am not sure that has ever happened before.

I was a little annoyed when I thought we were going to only win by 17; in my book anything 10 and under is close, and it is not a beat down until you get above 20. Thankfully Beau and Denzel were about to put a few more in before the buzzer to bump it above the threshold.

My condolences to Nathan Walkup's family. Nate missed the game to attend his grandfather's funeral.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Texas A&M 65, GW 66
That was hands-down the best women's basketball game I have ever attended. Sucks that we lost, especially since at the end of regulation the scoreboard read "TAMU 60 GW 59" when the score was actually 60-60. Because of this our players didn't 1) rush down the court and try and get a last second shot or 2) call a time out so a play could be drawn up. Instead they ran out the clock and we went to overtime.

Here are some pics from the game...

Coach Blair and his shinny new Big 12 championship ring.

The crowd. GW fans are on the left, TAMU fans on the right.

Some of the few GW faithful. I am not exactly sure what is going one here, but I do know that is one well secured crotch. Two hands, pressed against the chest; that is just good fundamentals.

A few very confused GW fans. Yes, thats right, those are hook'em horns. I don't get it. Fans for the team we are playing are cheering for our rival. Can they not cheer for their own team? What is their objective here? Am I supposed to be offended?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Our men's basketball team plays Detroit tonight. A W tonight will be out 100th win in Reed Area. Let's hope that, unlike the UAPB game, we can get some value out tonight's game. Turge
is especially disappointed in our in-side-out game, he knows our "big guys can work hard... and our guys can do a better job of feeding the post." Maybe he will make a rule that you can't shoot the ball until a big guy catches it on the block first.

Attendance tonight... 7,600.

P.S. Joe Lunardi has us as 3 seed in the Denver bracket. Is there still skiing in March?

P.S.S. Kentucky has lost 3 in a row; including two at home and one by almost twenty. They are now 4-4.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The crowd at the game tonight was 7,789; I called 7,650. I am just saying...
According to "someone in the Texas A&M football offices", the current staff will be let go after the Alamo Bowl vs. Penn State. According to another source, Arkansas interim head coach/defensive coordinator Reggie Herring is a leading candidate for to head next year's defense.
This has not been the most exciting week in Texas A&M sports, but there were a few things going on...

Ashlee Pistorius is one of three finalists for the 2007 Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy (soccer’s version of the Heisman Trophy). Ashlee has got to be one of the best players, in any sport, that A&M has seen in a long time. She came in as a big-time recruit and has done very well every year.

Our 12th ranked women's basketball team made some gutsy shots late in game to hold off 14th ranked Auburn Tigers. A'Quonesia Franklin credited the guys that make up the practice for the team's ability to hit clutch shots, "we go against guys in practice. They play very good defense on us, and we have to take those last-second shots. We hit more of the crazy shots."

Coach Sherman made us all a little more confident in $Bill's decision by stealing a 4-star recruit from Bob Stoops. Rivals100 receiver Jeff Fuller had committed to OU, but "once Coach Sherman came in, things changed considerably." Receiver is a spot where we need help, great job coach.

Our (also) 12th ranked men's basketball team comes off an idle week to face the surging University Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions. UAPB's three straight W's were just enough to push them above the 300 mark in Jeff Sagarin NCAA Basketball Ratings. We are 15th in those rankings. Turge “can't believe we don’t have more people coming out here to watch this team play." Maybe seeing a tiny crowd a few more time will make him a believer. I am calling the over/under for the attendance of tonight's game to be 7,650.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Texas A&M 109, Texas State 79
Texas State head coach Doug Davalos knew his team had no chance matching up with us in the half court, so he had his team press all night. Now I was not able to watch the game, but as far as I can tell, it looked like an And1 game. We had a "school record" 17 dunks, Bryan Davis dropped 7 dimes (one of which was behind the back), and we had as many blocks as they had assists.

62 of our 109 points were in the paint. We made seven three pointers, that is 21 points. 20 of our points were from free throws. 109-62-21-20=6. SIX! Only six of our points, that is 0.055% of the total, were made between the paint and the three point line. That is incredible.

We also managed to hold them to 33% from the field while only having one player commit 3 fouls (it wasn't Joe!!). On the other hand, we shot 67%, and seven of their players had 3 or more fouls.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Fran's buyout is $4.4 million; $1.7 mil a year until he gets another job, which I am guessing will not be for about three years.

Police are now saying the robbery that Yemi Babalola and Brandon Joiner allegedly committed was part of a drug deal. The victims of the robbery said they were in contact with the robbers prior to the attack, and gave the phone number they used to set the deal up. The police called the number, pretended to be a "basket company", and got Yemi to give up his name and address. Yemi admits to being at the apartment to "maybe get a little weed," but has no clue how two guys ended up bound in duct tape and robbed (cellphone, some keys, and $40 bucks). He simply "ran inside and that was it."

I don't know about you, but I am convinced. And that duct tape in his car; that is just smart. Duct tape can be used to tie down fix almost anything.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Drugs? Armed robbery? Things are looking up for Texas A&M football. Yesterday Yemi Babalola, a starting offensive lineman, and Brandon Joiner, a defensive end, were arrested in connection with an armed robbery where...
A resident said two black men entered the apartment and struck the person who opened the door. A second resident ran upstairs and escaped through a window. The first resident and a friend were bound with tape while one of the assailants pointed a semi-automatic handgun in their faces. Several small items were taken, and the intruders fled on foot.
When police executed search warrants on Babalola and Joiner's residents they found weed (was Reggie McNeal there?), hydrocodone, and "Ecstasy" (I am not sure why the D-Morn put ecstasy in quotes, and I am not sure how I feel about having rave kids on our line).

I have been saying for years that we are not going to be a big time program until we start getting some felonies. Although you don't want a starting guy to get locked up. I usually like to see a 2nd string corner back, or maybe right offensive guard (considering you have a right handed quarterback, of course), getting charged while your first string guys are let go due to lack of evidence and cooperation. Maybe that is what will happen here. Keep your fingers crossed, Yemi has 1 year left.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Denny Clement, a two-time state wrestling champion, signed a letter-of-intent to play... baseball? In addition to wrestling and baseball, Clement is high school football team's leading scorer. You have got to love 2A schools. 5 says he is valedictorian too.
Not too much going on right now...

We blew a 20 point lead against Arizona in Arizona. This was a bit of a disappointment given the momentum after the NIT and Alabama game, "when the crowd got into it, we were not tough enough. We will be, we just were not."

After the Nebraska coaching shake up, we picked up Tim Cassidy as the associate athletic director for football. Before Nebraska, Cassidy spent 19 years at Texas A&M in positions ranging from graduate assistant to associate athletic director.

A few awards were handed out to as well:

Cody Wallace has been named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American second team.

Coach G Guerrieri was named the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s Coach of the Year for the Central Region.

Ashlee Pistorius has made two big-time lists; she is a semifinalists for the 2007 Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy, college soccer’s version of the Heisman Trophy, and a finalists for Soccer Buzz Magazine’s 2007 National Player of the Year award.

Joe Jones and A’Quonesia Franklin are up for the 2007-08 Lowe’s Senior CLASS (Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School) Award;

Sunday, December 2, 2007

We will be playing Penn State in the Alamo Bowl.

Friday, November 30, 2007

In a rare move, Chris Fowler passed up the opportunity to criticize Texas A&M football. If fact, he actually defended us. The head of Black Coaches & Administrators, Floyd Keith was disappointed that $Bill did not interview a single minority candidate before hiring Sherman.

While acknowledging the "current state of minority representation among I-A head coaches and coordinators is a deep embarrassment to the sport and has been for years", Fowler thinks the critisism in this specific case is "off base." He goes on to say that
It has been common knowlege for more than a month, maybe longer, that Dennis Franchione is out. Sherman -- as a former A&M assistant (very important there), a former NFL head coach (Green Bay Packers) and a current NFL coordinator (Houston Texans) -- has a resume that no one, regardless of race or anything else, could come close to.

What should A&M be criticzed for? Not bringing in "candidates" of any color for bogus interviews? That's the kind of charade, a faux interest in a minority candidate to satisfy somebody, that the BCA rightfully has spoken out against. Sherman was Byrne's guy from the start, for his resume. Going outside the Ags' family didn't work with Franchione. It was predictable that Byrne would make this move. He kept it quiet and discreet and handled it well, without a PR flourish.

The BCA really can't be too bothered by that.
I have a hard time wrapping my brain around this one. The racial divide between head coaches and players is pretty obvious, and embarrassing. The problems is that ADs, like $Bill, are not giving these guys an opportunity to compete for the job. That is why the BCA is complaining. But what do you do when $Bill only interviews one guy for the job? Apparently "several African-American coaching candidates were on Bill's list of prospective coaches" and just started from the top. $Bill rivals Dick Cheney in his levels of secrecy, so we will never know if that claim is true.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sherman is our coach, but he is also the Texans offensive coordinate, and he will continue his duties in Houston until the end of the regular season (I don't think the Texans have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs yet, but at 0-3 in the division and 3-5 in conference, I do not think they are much of a threat). So what does that mean for us? NFL coordinators tend to spend a hundred hours a week watching film and preparing for the next game. How is he going to make sure that we don't loose any more recruits? Fortunately most of our recruits have cell phones and Sherman can "can get them a little later than you would normally call someone's house." What is a few more hours a day on the phone when you are already watching 12 ours of game tapes?
Texas A&M 76, Alabama 63
I was way off on my prediction of what type of game we would have. I said DJ would be slamming it home all night, but "he started pouting" after Hendrix shoved him early in the first half. He ended up with only two points, two boards, and two turnovers in 16 minutes. Hendrix is a great player and had a great game: 19 points, 12 boards, and three blocks with only three fouls. The upside is that we didn't give him easy looks; he shot 40%, which is way below his average (71%). Jones did foul out in only 17 minutes, I predicted he would have 1 less foul and play 6 more minutes. I think I would have been right on the mark if DJ had a decent game, he didn't so Joe was free to find fouls as fast as he could.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

If there was a "most improved incoming freshman from game one to game eight" award, DeAndre would win it in a land slide. "Two months ago, he'd almost crawl in a corner and pout, now he accepts coaching." To reward his improvement, Turge has asked DJ to guard Richard Hendrix, Alabama's leading scorer (23.8 ppg), rebounder (14.5 rpg), and blocker (2.5 bpg).

DJ and Hendrix are similar players; they both have very high field goal percentages (85% and 71%) and low free throw percentages (18% and 50%) (I cannot believe DJ shoots under 20%, that is amazing). How does a player make so many shots with out being able to shoot the ball? Easy, they dunk EVERYTHING. Two guys constantly trying to dunk every ball they touch should make for an exciting game.

Any bets on how quick Joe and Brian Davis foul out? I am guessing they both finish with four, Joe plays for 23 minutes and Brain plays for 18.
The All-Big 12 football awards are out and the big winner is Cody Wallace who was name Offensive Linemen of the Year and All-Big 12 first team. Chris Alexander, Chris Harrington, Misi Tupe, and Justin Brantly were all named to All-Big 12 second team. Michael Bennett, Martellus Bennett, Red Bryant, Marquis Carpenter, Corey Clark, Mark Dodge, Kirk Elder, Jorvorskie Lane, and Stephen McGee all received honorable mention.

Monday, November 26, 2007

+ = , ?

$Bill has called an 11AM (noon for me) press conference to announce the next Aggie head football coach. With no other athletic department announcing that they have granted access $Bill access to their coach, it is very very very likely Mike Sherman is our man. I am hopping for we get more of a Pete Carroll and less of a Bill Callahan.

The vocal minority is not confident in Sherman's ability, but I have no clue how those people judge these things. Yes the Texans stink, and that is a valid point against Sherman, who is the offensive coordinator, but the funny thing is I am sure this vocal minority would have been overjoyed if $Bill tapped Gary Kubiak, who is the head coach of the same stinky team.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The NIT might have the worst website and/or communications department. Here is the championship picture off their website:Half of the team is not in the picture, the picture is way off center, there is a cameraman in the picture, and the team is looking at another photographer. I bet this was taken with a cell phone camera. Terrible.
Warning, this post is not about coaching.

Staring in 2009 we will be playing Arkansas in the Dallas Cowboy's new stadium. This new stadium looks amazing:
According to a source close to Tuberville, A&M is no longer interested in Tubs. We have "decided to go in a different direction." This post also claims that Mike Sherman is likely to be the next middle aged white man to slip on a maroon blazer, but he does not cite anyone close to anything. This guy is from Alabama, so I think his info on Sherman is just a regurgitation what is in the H-Chron.
Reporters, being the carnivores that they are, could not even wait until Mike Sherman got off the field after his offense was outscored by the Browns (whose defense is ranked 30th in my fantasy league) 27 to 17 to ask him questions about the TAMU head coaching vacancy. He, of course, deflected all questions, but the other Texans coaches/execs acted like he was already gone. Saying things like "we don't want to lose Mike because he's a terrific coach", "A&M could search for a long time and not find a candidate better than Mike Sherman", "we would highly recommend Mike for the job", and "we'd wish him the best". Neither owner Bob McNair or head coach Gary Kubiak, a former Aggie, knew anything about Sherman being interviewed, but since Sherman is not a college coach, $Bill does not have to ask permission to talk to him. We would also not have to pay for a buy out, but I am not sure that matters.
I thought this was a cool picture from the game, do you think they worked this out in practice?

Legendary Oklahoma coach "Dingle Barry" Switzer said on the Fox pregame show that, "A&M thinks they're winners, but they never won anything. Not even with Bear Bryant." For those of you that are unfamiliar with Dingle Barry's career, here are a few highlights:
  • sent boosters dressed as painters to Memorial Stadium to spy on Texas's closed practices
  • resigned after the NCAA placed OU on probation for 3 years
  • proved that any one can coach a team to a super bowl win, or more specifically, that Jimmy Johnson is such a good coach that not even Dingle Barry can keep his team from winning a super bowl
  • was arrested for attempting to carry a loaded hand gun onto an airplane
  • resigned after the Cowboys went 6-10
I am sure that by the time I click "publish post" things will have have changed in $Bill's national coaching search, but here is what is going on so far...

According the the H-Cron, it is a three man race: Houston Texans assistant head coach/offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, former Notre Dame coach A&M defensive coordinator Bob Davie, and Boise State coach Chris Petersen. Take this list with a grain of salt. $Bill has been overly secertive with his previous coaching searches, and at this point not even the A&M board of regents members are privy to this "closely held secret."

Auburn's head coach, Tommy Tuberville, seemed to be the obvious choice, but $Bill has not contacted him (officially), and someone close to Tubs said he was "not seriously considered for the job." Tubs has said that he would stay in Auburn as long as they wanted him. The victory last night over the other state team should make him pretty popular on campus. Oh wait, our guy did that too but we still gave him the boot.

If you believe the H-Cron, then Mike Sherman is the front runner, but I am a bit sceptical of a Houston paper claiming that a Houston coach tops the list at a school an hour outside of town. Looks more like a sales campaign than an inside scoop.

Friday, November 23, 2007

This has been a very eventful day... we beat Texas, we STOMPED Ohio State to win the NIT, and Fran stepped down.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Aggie Sports Blog turns 1!!

The men beat Washington after a pretty crappy start. They will face Ohio State in the finals tomorrow. I think there may be a football game tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I am going to guess that our team has largest player/coach height ratio ever. Check out how short Turge is, he comes up to Jim Boeheim's shoulder. Then again Turge played in the Final Four, best Boeheim did was Elite Eight. Suck it Jim. rates the Texas A&M v Texas BASKETBALL games as one of the hottest rivalries in college basketball.
Lets catch up real quick...

We lost to Texas in the 2nd round of the NCAA soccer tournament. Texas scored three goals in the 2nd half to win it 3-2. Jerks.

We whipped Ouachita Baptist 85-59. This is pretty much what you would expect to happen when a D-I team plays a D-IIIIIIIIIIIIII team (unless you are Michigan State... ZING). Turge some how managed to get 18 guys into this game. Denzel Bowels finally made it into a game for more than a minute, he played two. Bowels was a big-time recruit who followed Turge from Wichita State. Unfortunately he showed up to practice with a lot of "bad weight" and was a "completely different player" than the one the coaches recruited. Subsequently his career at TAMU is only three minutes long.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

We face Texas in the second round of the NCAAs tonight. Lets hope our goal scoring efficiency goes above .03 (33 shots, 1 goal) this time.
When we switched form Nike to Adidas we all read about how Michigan had also singed a deal with Adidas worth $60 million. Michigan is clearly wearing Nike uniforms. What gives?
It has been a while since have won on Saturday (Nov 10th), but with the football team idle and the men's basketball team facing Ouachita Baptist (located in Arkadelphia, Arkansas; 1,482 undergrads; alumni include 7 Miss Arkansas winners and the founder of TCBY) tonight at Reed, you can be sure that the month long streak will come to an end. The Tigers were 14-14 last season, and 8-6 in the NCAA-DII Gulf South Conference. There best player is Jaranimo Marks who averaged 16 a game last year and was a all conference first team selection. They also have a 6-5 forward who hit 90 threes last year. This guy could be a tough defensive assignment for us, but probably not.
Billy Gillispie wouldn't agree to sign a contract with us, now he is doing the same thing to UK. I wounder if he is also lying to all of his players there too.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Basketball season is starting to look a lot like football season; big programs are getting beat, at home, by much smaller programs. After the first half I was concerned we would be part of that trend. UTEP was up by 8, had gone 8 for 16 from 3, and Stephon Jackson seemed to be making any shot past half court. On the other hand we could not buy a bucket: 10-31 shooting and 1-8 from 3. At half time Turge told the team that we just need to stick together and play our game, even "if they hit every shot we were going to stick together and be a team." I guess we stuck together, if the result of sticking together is figuring how to defend the screen and make a shot. In the second half UTEP only made two more threes out of 10 attempts, while we went 5-9, including one from Josh carter with 2 minutes left that gave us the lead.

DJ had a great game; 12 boards, six on offense, and a nasty block. Free throws were again troublesome for him, he one for six. A guy who is that bad from the line can really hurt you in big games. Think Hack-a-Shaq. There were some glimmers of greatness from Derek Rolan and Dolan Sloan, but neither player is "playing anywhere near were they are going to be playing at some point."

One thing I find intresting is Turge's offensive shift. Just a few weeks ago he described our offense as in "constant motion", but now we are going to "live or die playing inside out." Did we miss enough shots to make him give up the motion? He did say that we have to try and find a way to make some shots, maybe this is his way.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mack Brown wants the annual Texas A&M v Texas game to be moved from Friday to Saturday so his team can get a by week earlier in the season. Something about playing 11 games in a row makes his kids "tired." I can sympathize some, watching the last 11 A&M games on TV has worn me out. Brown also thinks Audrina is way too good for Justin Bobby and is really upset that she keeps going back to him.
Our defense is progressing. In the first exhibition game we didn't play any defense, in the first game of the season we didn't defend for the first five minutes, and in the first half of this game we did "about as good as we can do defensively." Hell even DJ guarded "for the first time since he has been here." At half time Oral Roberts had only 17 points in 23 shots. The second half we a different story, 36 points in 32 shots, which may be the a conditioning issue. Turge's teams play pressure defense and motion offense, and this teams is just "not in good enough shape to play the way [he wants] to play and do it for 40 minutes."

Last game DJ had only two boards, so coach joked that he was on track to "set a record for the fewest rebounds for a 7 footer in a season." DJ responded with eight boards, three of them on offense. Eight is not quite the 20 he promised, but I will take it.

I have never heard a coach call out an opponent's fans before last night. Oral Roberts head coach Scott Sutton (remember him? his name was mentioned as a replacement to Billy G) said that DJ is a "special player" and thought it "was a little disappointing that only 8400 people show, they need to get out here and see this kid play." Ouch.

Up next is the other team dumped by Billy G, UTEP. The Miners play a style similar to what Memphis played last year, which is good and bad. Good because we played Memphis in the tourney last year, so we will be familiar with the scouting report. Bad because, well, they beat us.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The women got thumped by Team USA 75-24 (Team USA had 14 blocks!), but that didn't stop Chinemelu Elonu's (aka Junior) little sister, Adaora Elonu, from committing to play for coach Blair. Adaora is a preseason second-team All-Greater Houston selection and is rated as the nation's 34th best prospect.

Monday, November 12, 2007

One of the "unfortunate, ugly facts" of soccer is that you can totally dominate a team and lose. Such was the case in the Big 12 championship game on Sunday. We dominated Texas, 33 shots to their 8, 11 shots on goal to their 4, but lost 2-1. Fortunately, the work we did in the regular season was good enough to allow us to host the 1st and 2nd rounds of the tourney. The other team playing in College Station are Texas, BYU, and Stephen F Austin. The first round will be Thursday and the second round will be on Saturday.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

My guy says we met with Steve Spurrier's agent, and the old ball coach is not interested in the job. NEXT!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The media really wants DJ to be the story of the game, claiming that he "overshadowed" Turge in the pair's first victory as Aggies. However, if you listen to the coaches, the game ball goes to Bryan Davis and Derek Roland for their efforts on defense. Before BD (I think that is what the team calls Davis) and Roland came into the game, McNeese State had put 15 points up in five minutes. After he came in we held them to 11 points in the next 15 minutes. BD finished with 9 boards, 2 blocks, 2 steals, and 8 points. Don't get me wrong, DJ's 12 points were very good, but the dude only pulled down 2 boards. He is 7 feet tall!

Free throws were a problems again. We only made 56% of our shots, which is odd for a team that shoots several thousand a week. McNeese State made all of their shots from the line, all three of them. Yep, Joe Jones had more fouls (4) than the other team had foul shots.

When Turge first put Dom Kirk at the point the thought we had "problems." But after dropping six dimes in this game, it is pretty obvious that he has come a long way. Sloan is not quite where Kirk is yet, but once he is there this team is "going to be fun to watch."

Friday, November 9, 2007

I am listening to the game (we are killing them, up 19 with about 3 left) and the announcers just said that students get in free to the first game of the NIT preseason tournament game against Oral Robers because Turge paid for the tickets. That may be the coolest thing I have ever heard of a coach doing. This guy really knows how to win over the fans.
The soccer team faced Missouri in the semifinals of the Big 12 tourney. We didn't score the first goal, but we did score the next four and took the win. We face the winner of the Texas/OSU game in the championship game on Sunday.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Andy Katz picked us to win the preseason NIT, and has us as the 2nd best team in the Big 12.
Ha! The stats are on our side. Missouri is 1-2 to teams whose coaches who are about to get canned (loss to Iowa State last year who canned Dan McCarney, loss to Kansas State in 2005 who canned Bill Snyder, and a win over Nebraska who is about to can Bill Callahan).
There will be a lot of growing pains that come with a new coach. We had another one today, 4-star defensive tackle Rod Davis is "committed to A&M until somebody comes around and changes [his] mind." Those somebodies include USC, California, Minnesota, Florida, and LSU.
As you may or may not know, Baylor's football team is not doing so hot this year (0-6 in the Big 12), and head coach Guy Morriss will probably get the boot. The talk in Waco is that legendary Chicago Bears linebacker, and Baylor Bear alum, Mike "I only play for a team with a bear mascot" Singletary could take over next year. The only problem is that old wide-eyes might not be able to start until January, which could put Baylor at a "disadvantage in recruiting." Baylor's 2008 class is headlined by five 3-star guys, and is ranked 56th nationally. Unless a disadvantage means they can't fill out the team, I don't think that should be much of a factor.
Mizzou is gearing up to "stop A&M's option attack." In last year's 25-19 defeat, they saw J-Train run for 127 yards. This year the Tigers are ready for the big fella, they are going to "play assignment football", "control the line of scrimmage", and get to Lane before he can "gather steam."

Wait. This can't be what the coaches in Missouri are talking about.

It's true, in the last two week we had our asses handed to us by the #1 and #2 ranked run defenses, and Missouri is #4 so it is reasonable to expect a similar outcome... if we run. But these guys are terrible against the pass; they give up almost 260 yards a game. When we played the #11 and #12 pass defenses McGee has averaged over 200 yards in the air, and Missouri is #10 so it is reasonable to expect a similar outcome... if we pass. In that game last year when they saw J Train run all over them and they learned their lesson, McGee also threw for 223 yards. If that article is accurate, I think the Tigers may have learned the wrong lesson.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I really need to do a better job covering women's sports, especially women's soccer. These girls are by far the most accomplished athletes on campus: #2 national ranking, four consecutive big-12 regular season titles, seven all-Big 12 honors, six academic all-Big 12 honorees, and they are our next best shot at a national championship. Today we advanced to the Big-12 semifinals by beating Iowa state in PKs. We will now face Mizzou on Friday. There will be a live video stream of the game here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Texas A&M 71, Tarleton State 62

After the Emporia State game Turg was "really concerned", "we look like we hadn't been coached". But "we made great strides in 3 or 4 days" and did a much better job against Tarleton State. Joe in particular had a good game. We started hammering the ball down to him and he ended up on the foul line 14 times, making 11 of them. One thing that is not there yet is the rebounding, especially offensive rebounding. We missed 31 shots but only got 13 o-boards. "We should be dominating in rebounding especially when you miss as many shots as we did."

One of the many adjustments we will have to make is on offense. Last year it was all high-low ball, which gave our guys a chance to rest. Turg wants our offense to be "in constant movement". Unfortunately our guys are "not in shape yet to run and guard" and that shows in our 2nd half stats.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Anyone else getting nothing but a green screen from CSTV's live feed? Very annoying.

[Halftime Update]

Score: 22 - 31 goodguys

Bryan Davis's starting days didn't last long, but he has put in more minutes three of our starters: Joe, Carter, and that man who replaced him, DJ. I hate reading box scoring and trying to figure out what is going on.
Whether Fran has agreed to a buy out, or is close to a buy out is irrelevant. He is gone. I believe $Bill when he says that he only "evaluates his programs at the end of each season", so there will be no pre-Texas game firings. Melvin Watkins announced he was stepping down before the Big-12 tournament. So I am thinking that is what Fran will do, announce his departure before our bowl game.
More positive signs from Auburns head football coach Tommy Tuberville (Tubs). When Tubs was asked about the TAMU HC spot he said, "We're not going to get into that in the next two weeks. That would be a headache if we started doing all those 'ifs' and 'ands.'"

Now that is not as obvious as wearing a maroon tie to a football game, but he is certainly leaving plenty of room for speculation.

In other news, Fran feels that the team will be motivated by the "pain of this loss." Hu?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

12 points. Offensive production is good, which is usually the case when you shoot 53% from the field and pull down 13 more boards. I was hoping that the defense would keep them around 60. I was not able to watch/listen to the game, and the box score is not out yet, so this is all I have.

Here is a question, do you think Turge is just trying to "win by one point" (Fran's favorite quote after a narrow victory, later picked up by McGee)?


I was able to get into the CSTV site for some stats. Here are the highlights:
  • Starting 5: Davis, Sloan, Jones, Carter, and Kirk
  • Davis logged 1o min, but some how managed to foul out. I really hope he is not following in Joe's footsteps this year.
  • Speaking of Joe, he had 4 fouls. Great. Do you think Turg is going to sit him?
  • Kirk played 33 minutes, I am guessing most of that was at the point. 2 assists, 0 turnovers, 11 points, 5 boards, 1 steal.
  • Josh carter had a great game: team high 14 points, team high (tied) 6 boards, 4 of his 6 were offensive, 4 assists.
  • DJ came off the bench and put up 12 points, 6 boards, and 2 blocks. More good news is that he committed only 2 fouls in 24 minutes. He was 4-11 from the stripe, that needs to improve, a lot.
  • Sloan shot 7 free throws. This makes me think he was getting to the rack. This makes me happy.
Our first men's basketball game is today. I am mostly interested in... well everything. I think there will be a live video stream available for the game. I watched a bunch of games this way last year, the best part is listening to Dave South et al. chat during radio commercial breaks.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My first perception of the media's love affair with Martellus Bennett came after he appeared at a men's basketball game where, as a high school senior, he lead yells, sang the war hymn, and was the target of countless inappropriate Aggie Angle advances. For the next few years the media ate up everything he said. Who am I kidding, we all did. If something happened in the state of Texas, everyone wanted to know what Tellus would say about it. His atmospheric ego was somehow charming.

Then, a few weeks ago, he stopped talking to the media. He bit the hand that fed him. His punishment was typical, the media waited until he made his next public comment, then rolled it up and popped him on the nose. Now Tellus's tail is between his legs. He claims that he isn't the waiting for the NFL combine to show off his talent. In fact, he does "whatever it takes for [his] team to win" and doesn't do "selfish acts or anything like that." Strangely he doesn't think the misrepresentation it is "the media's fault, really" Yep, he has learned his lesson. Don't get on the media's bad side.
So you know already know that D-Kirk will probably start at point over the obvious successor, D-Sloan. What you might not know is that "if we played a game today, [Jordan] would not start", Bryan Davis would. Apparently Davis is "way ahead" of DJ and "fits our system perfectly." I think this sort of thing has been hinted, so we shouldn't be that surprised. When someone is called "raw", that means they are big/strong/fast, but can't really play within a structured defense/offense and won't start right away.

Two more things, 1) will someone please tell Davis to shave his head and 2) when did Davis pick up the number "0"?

Monday, October 29, 2007

The odds I am giving for Auburn's head coach Tommy Tuberville to become the next head coach at Texas A&M are now at 51%. The increase in Tommy's odds are a result of his reaction to the rumor mill. He is "sure there'll be some discussion over the next few weeks" and believes all the rumors are "just part of the business." That is coach speak for, "I am out of here bitches."

Aggies remember this sort of reaction. Billy G would never come right out and say (to the media, everyone knows he lied to his players), "no, I am not leaving for KU" or "yes, I will be coaching here next year" because, well, he was leaving for KU and would not be coaching the Aggies in the following season.

Tommy's odds are not higher because there is no connection between $Bill and Tuberville, and recent history shows $Bill likes to hire his guys. We should look back at Oregon and Nebraska to see what the coordinators of those teams are doing now. That is a lot of research, good thing I took the day off work...

Friday, October 26, 2007

Is Butch Davis in $Bill's sights? Stealing North Carolina's coach worked for Texas, who is to say it wouldn't work for us?

I think I am going to look into head coach hopping trend. I have a feeling that stealing a coach from another BCS conference has a NEGATIVE impact on a program. Maybe it is just the fact that the only coach I can think of two coaches hopped major conference (Fran, SEC -> Big 12 and Makie Brown, ACC -> Big 12) who cancel each other out, and there 349732 coaches that went from coordination positions at big programs or head coaches in non-major conferences to head coaches and did well (Stoops, Myer, Leach).
Where has Mike Goodson gone?
At the beginning of the season he was given all sorts of nicknames: beauty (beauty and the beast), lightning (thunder and lightning), and run (hit and run), but now he is barley mentioned. With under 500 yards and only two touchdowns so far, Mike is way under his goal of 1,300 yards and 44 touchdowns. The lack of production is a "combination of various factors", but mainly our inability to get the "ball as well to the perimeter as many times as we were last year."

For whatever reason, we simply cannot do what we want to do. To be trite, we cannot force our will on anyone. Fortunately, we have three great runners, so we can actually win a few ball games by taking what the defense gives us.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

With $Bill "giddy" as a school girl in Lincoln on Saturday, it seems Fran may still be able to save his job. All he has to do is win out, or come close to winning out. Unfortunately we will finish out the year against four top 25 teams: Kansas, @Oklahoma, @Missouri, and Texas. We have never played four straight Top 25 teams to end the season.
First up Kansas, who is 7-0 and playing out of their minds. They are No. 2 nationally in scoring defense, No. 3 in scoring offense, No. 1 in kickoff returns and No. 4 in turnover margin. KU owes its new found success to head coach Mark Mangino (pictured above) who owes his success to other big time coaches. He learned about organization from Tressel (Ohio State), about X's and O's from Snyder (K State), about attitude from Stoops(OU), and about eating from Joey Chestnut (hot dot eating world record holder, 66 dogs and buns in 12 minutes, pictured lower left).

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

No way my boy Brent Z just did a period piece of in the 1957. This reads like a really corny 5th grade play.
The always honest, and usually funny (but not this time), Martellus Bennett will go pro if he can get picked up in the 1st or 2nd round of the draft. Seems that Bennett feels underrepresented in our run 1st offense, so he will work out at the NFL combine to "[show his skills] somewhere”.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sunday, October 21, 2007

"Fifty-two years! Fifty-two years!" That is how long it has been since we won in Lincoln. Back then we had a man's man coach, and now we have a man's man QB. McGee ran the ball a record 35 times for 167 yards. The previous record was 27 (1977, David Walker). J Train had a similar super man-like game against Fresno State, so believe him when he tells you "it takes a lot of man to do that." The effort left McGee limping and in need of two post-game IVs. Calling number seven 35 times is "probably not exactly" what Fran wants, but McGee doesn't care, "whatever [Fran] calls I want to run it to the best best of my abilities." This kid might not be on a Heisman short list, but I would take him over any other QB in the country. I am really looking forward to him coaching us in about 25 years.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Fran's dirty laundry has now cost us a recruit. Craig Loston, a junior at Aldine Eisenhower, is backing out of his oral commitment because he knows "there are going to be new coaches coming in" and doesn't "want to be no part of whatever's going on there." Great. At least we didn't really need any help at safety.

I would not be surprised if this is the first of many.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

How many assists did Acie have last year? At home against Texas he recorded 15. But did he really? A look at the number seems to indicate that the scorekeeper at Reed Arena was a little generous. At home we recorded assists on 78.5% of our made field goals, on the road we were credited with assists on just 45.2% of our made baskets.

To summarize: At home, Texas A&M was one of the best assisting teams in college basketball history. Away from home, we were the worst major conference team in sharing the ball.

To further summarize, who cares? We are talking about assists here.
If the men's basketball team played today "Dominique Kirk would be our starting point guard." The previously obvious choice to pick up where Acie left off, Donald Sloan, will start at shooting guard and mix in a little point. This is a bit of a shock. Dom Kirk had a better assist-to-turnover ratio than Acie (2.62-1.92), but he is not as explosive as either Acie or Don Slo. If you remember, Don Slo had some amazingly athletic moves to the basket in the NCAA tournament. While watching the Penn game, a Duke guy (no I am not friends with anyone that went to Duke, I was at a bar) yelled to the TV, "now that is the kind of athlete we need at Duke." He was right. Duke bowed out of the tourney later that day.
Turg has said that we should expect a more creative offense this year (i.e. some thing besides high low ball and spacing). That creativity should now include Don Slo pealing off double picks and taking it to the rack.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A decade ago Texas A&M played Nebraska for the Big 12 title, and the winner won the national championship. 10 years is a long time. Today the Wrecking Crew is gone, the Black Shirts have been put away, basic analysis shows new coaches didn't advance the program, an AD has been fired, and two coaches might be gone in a few months.

The game this weekend will not be for a conference title, but it might show which one of the following is true:
That is, which team is going down the tubes the fastest.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I am upset; but not so much because we lost, or because we wasted the better part of a decade with Fran. I am upset because yesterday proved that we will have to wait another five years before we can compete in the Big 12 again. I am tired of waiting.

Friday, October 12, 2007

This was not a great week for fans of Texas A&M football, hopefully this cheers you up... taco meat

Ugh. Vick' Em shirts have now been followed up by Sick' Em shirts. Sick' Em? Really? If only that lawsuit would have put Aggieland Outfitters in bankruptcy, then the world would be a better place.
ABC's TV coverage map. I am in a green state, crap.
We were picked to finish 3rd in the Big 12 in the preseason coach's poll. Kansas topped the list and Texas was second. The gap between us and Texas was only 4 points (101 to 105), that is a 0.03% gap, and we received 2 first place votes where as Texas received none.
Joe Jones was named to the preseason All-Big 12 team and Josh Carter and DeAndre Jordan received honorable mentions.

The women's team also cleaned up in the preseason awards: Tyra White was named freshman of the year, A'Quonesia Franklin and Takia Starks were named All-Big 12 players, and Morenike Atunrase and Danielle Gant receieved honorable mention.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Here is a summary of $Bill's investigation:

What WAS a violation:
NCAA: Coaches must disclose income.
Fran: Come on man. I was spending more than I was making on that deal. Look in my wallet, nada, so what the hell do you want me to report?
NCAA: Dude, you totally have to report that. Don't be shady

NCAA: You cannot comment on recruits.
Fran: Ya I talked about recruits, but I never said about WHICH recruit.
NCAA: Weak.

Big-12: You cannot bitch about us or our refs.
Fran: I still stay you guys are idiots and you blew that call.
Big-12: Your brain has a shell on it.

What now? is gone. VIP Connection author Mike McKenzie is gone. Fran gets a "letter of admonishment" (wtf?). Fran has to reduce his contact with any recruit mentioned in a newsletter
$Bill has called a 9am press conference to release the results on an investigation into Fran's VIP Connection. The VIP Connection is so last week.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

More one tech's fan base "nastiness"...
This? They are just throwing paint, what is wrong with that? Now that slice of pizza (I think it is pizza) that may have crosses the line. Have you ever tried to get dried cheese off a car? Exactly.
Why can't we win in Lubbock? A fourth quarter pick returned of a TD in 95, a missed field goal in 97, an inability to stop the run in 99, turnovers in 01, 8 TD passes in 03, and another 50+ points given up in 05. Following that trajectory, we should lose by about 100. But why?

Former TAMU lineman Hunter Goodwin thinks it it the fans, they are "nasty" and "a lot of Aggie don't want to deal with that." Nasty? I guess, if you think "the tortillas, the batteries and the 100 DPS troopers", goal posts in the stands, and Vick' Em Shirts (Note: these have been baned by the University, something about the shirts being "derogatory, inflammatory, insensitive, or in such bad taste that it reflects negatively on this fine institution, its students, athletic teams, alumni or faculty") is nasty.
Any expectation this year will be different? J-Train thinks so, according to him "we're going to win in 2007. That's a guarantee. I promise you." J-Train likes our chances against a one armed pirate, and so do I.

Monday, October 8, 2007

The same school that ripped down their own goal post and threw them into the stands is now selling these shirts for Saturday's game....
Way to keep it classy Lubbock.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Texas A&M 24, Oklahoma State 23
(Yes, that is Marquis Carpenter, Adarius Bowman, and an open field tackle all in the same picture.)

"Another road game, another meltdown." For the first time in what feels like ages, that was headline was in their newspaper, not ours. Fran described the first half as "atrocious." Laying a goose egg against a team who had not recorded a first half conference shut out in three years and sports the leagues 3rd worst scoring defense is at least atrocious. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, Red Bryant and "the leaders on the team decided the key to the game was 'refuse to lose'." A half-back pass, concussed starting QB, and roughed kicker later, our boys put together a record-matching comeback. The experience was emotional enough to invoke poetry out of a 6'5" +300lb o-lineman (Kirk Elder) who refused "to go quietly into the night" (Note: I am aware the line is "do not go gentle into that good night", but, in my opinion, it is close enough considering the guy can squat 620lbs).

Saturday, October 6, 2007

OSU's rushing offense ranks eighth nationally with 241.4 yards per game. To counter this, freshman Billy Chavis (6-4, 226) has been moved to linebacker from safety to provide more depth behind Mark Dodge and Misi Tupe.

Here are the pics from around Texas:
D-Morn News: 27-17, good guys
SA-Express: 31-28, good guys
H-Chron: 35-31, good guys
BCS-Eagle: good guys
FW-Tgram: 38-28, good guys (Note: they steal their game pics from The Sports Network, lame)

Friday, October 5, 2007

The athletic department was quick to point out that rated DeAndre Jordan, Joseph Jones, Bryan Davis, and Chinemelu Elonu as a top 10 front court. However, they failed to mention that the same website picked us to finish 5th in the Big 12 and make a trip to the NIT. The NIT? Those are pretty low expectations for have a top 10 set of big guys.
There have been rumors about this for a few days now, but it is official, Soulja Boy will headlines Maroon Madness. Get your full length mirror and start practicing your superman, Oct 12 is just a few days away.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A&M officials have reportedly "examined Dennis Franchione's contract to determine if he violated the terms of his deal" (link to a section of his contract). The university investigation has determined that the VIP Connection newsletter did not violate any NCAA rules nor did its earnings violate IRS law.

To the untrained eye, it would seem that the newsletter could be a "business transaction or commerce... that may cause discredit to the UNIVERSITY" and therefore a breach of contract. However, my lawyer says that it would be hard to prove that the newsletter discredited the university. While the newsletter arguably harms the reputation of (discredits) Fran, that harm is not necessarily felt by the university. This clause is "geared more towards making disparaging comments" than dip shit business ventures (the dip shit part is mine, not my lawyer's).
Everyone is doing throwbacks (including the Philadelphia Eagles , wowza). So the question now is will we ever throwback, and which uniform would we pick? There really is not clear favorite because, well, our uniforms remained pretty basic. But here are some samples:
1800s: 1910:
1930: 1950:
The D-Morn news posted a few more of Fran's VIP Connection newsletters.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Texas Tech linebacker Kellen Tillman was arrested on a marijuana possession charge. Tillman's arrest come on the same day a previous team suspension was lifted. Nothing says "I'M BACK" quite like Class B misdemeanor charge of possession of under 2 ounces of marijuana.
All (most?) of the players showed up at today's weekly press conference to show their support for Fran. Consequently, they are all now "in trouble for missing class." Interim president Ed is has asked the AD to "urgently look into the matter of the VIP email list to insure there are no violations of NCAA rules or regulations." Until that process is complete $Bill is not even going to fart.
Oh ya. There is a football game (on TV, ya!) this weekend. OSU head coach Mike Gundy thinks our "strong tradition" is what makes it "enjoyable" to play in Kyle Field. Our tradition makes it enjoyable for you Mike? Are you sure it is not our bad tackling and shotty coverage? (McGee, please don't yell at me for saying that.)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Baylor coach Guy Morriss reported his team had "10 drops and about a half-dozen bad throws" on Saturday. Considering our defense recorded zero sacks and zero QB hurries in the game, I do not think we can take credit for their offensive woes.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The is supposedly the VIP-Connection newsletter sent out before the Texas game a couple of years ago. If this level of detail is consistent with other newsletter entries, then it would seem that all of this hoopla is much to do about nothing.

The team voted on its 2005 permanent captains, which Coach Fran regards as the highest honor a player can attain because his teammates select him. Winners by a wide margin: defensive tackle Johnny Jolly, and linebacker Archie McDaniel, both seniors. Others were more than 20 votes behind. Jolly has been a player that teammates gravitate toward ever since we got here. He has been a catalyst this season for keeping the defense from getting its head down and folding the tent, as much as it has been under assault. He is a vocal leader, as well as emotional on the field. McDaniel is not as vocal, but he is a solid citizen and commands respect from his teammates because of his work ethic. He was a ringleader in the off-season weight program.

* * *

(Alphabetically) Courtney Lewis, Reggie McNeal, and Howard Morrow did not return to the practice field this afternoon after having two days off -- and five of the last seven. This is completely between us, but it's looking more like Reggie is not going to be 100 percent, and it's a toss-up whether he will play if he's not. Based on past history, Lewis probably would opt out if he can't run full-speed. Street talk has come back to us that he might see if he can go to the NFL early, but he hasn't suggested that to the staff. Six others whom we count on either as starters or regular rotation players practiced with the "as tolerate" label, and, according to trainer David Weir, they all "did fine." They were Jaxson Appel, Danny Gorrer, Nurahda Manning, Cyril Obiozor, Boone Stutz, and Justin Warren. Also on that list, trying to make it back for one final try after missing most of the season, was Brandon Leone.

* * *

On the scouting reports, there's not much we can tell you about Texas that you don't already know. The one area on which the offense can hang its hat for some confidence and belief is the consensus opinion (preliminary scouting
report, and offensive coordinator Les Koenning) that we have played against at least one defensive front -- Oklahoma's -- that is better than Texas's. The report also suggests that Colorado and Iowa State measure up to Texas on the
defensive line. We moved the ball well against Iowa State and Oklahoma. Their linebackers are steady players, and one, I think, is up for the national Butkus Award, but they don't fly around to the ball like their LBs of the past. Where they are absolutely sensational on defense is the secondary, especially Huff. They make plays all over the field and are deadly tacklers. If Stephen McGee and Jorvorskie Lane must carry most of the load offensively, you can be assured they will play with confidence and with excitement. Their tomorrow has arrived.

* * *

Offensively, the Longhorns are so obviously riding the confidence, leadership, and raw skills of their quarterback Vince Young. The only thing keeping him from the Heisman is the USC tandem of the reigning Heisman and Reggie Bush. (How can anybody not vote for Bush? Over 500 all-purpose yards in one game? That's insane. Did anybody else besides me stay up until the bewitching hour to see the end of that game last night?) They have tailback by committee. None of them is Ricky Williams or Cedric Benson, but all of them are better than average. They operate behind a big, athletic, and seasoned o-line. Their receiving corps has been the biggest surprise, with several stepping up to a high level -- high enough to raise Young's often-criticized passing game a notch.

* * *

Steve Solari has requested to speak to our team, and we're working on having Bucky Richardson come up from Houston to address them, too.

* * *

We're gearing up for big recruiting visits the first two weekends in December, with an all-out assault on prime-time linebacker prospects, both high school and juco.

* * *

A friend sent me four more Internet rumors today. None was accurate. It is amazing the stuff they come up with, and one even claimed credibility because his source "is inside the athletic department." Keep this firmly in mind: Bill has been out since Wednesday, at home recuperating from knee surgery. In case you didn't read his weekly message, it's the ninth time he's had knee surgery.

* * *

Two coaches now are in the running for head coaching vacancies. Melvin Smith said that he is supposed to learn Tuesday whether he will make the cut for an interview at Jackson State, which is right in the heart of the region where
he grew up in Mississippi. He said that indications are they want somebody with Jackson State ties, which he doesn't have, but that hasn't deterred him. The Jackson Clarion-Ledger quoted him, "It's time for me to become a head coach." Chris Thurmond is a finalist for the head position at Missouri State in Springfield, Mo., which used to be known as Southwest Missouri State. He will be interviewed after our season ends. Coach Fran will go to the wall for both of them. Chris has been with Fran since TCU, now in his eighth season working with defensive backs, mostly cornerbacks. Melvin joined the staff in Fran's second year at Alabama, so he is finishing his fourth season as the safeties coach.

* * *

Tomorrow, after our media luncheon (moved up one day because of the short week), I'll drive to Victoria and talk to the A&M Club. During the week of The Game, they always meet conjointly with the Texas Exes, with the home-team
club hosting. Tuesday night Fran will speak to the year-end meeting of the local Quarterback Club on Wives Night. Wednesday night is Yell Practice. And then bring 'em on.

This guy thinks Fran should be fired, today. And not for his coaching.
Dennis Franchione is guilty of betraying pretty much everyone. Everyone but the 12 or 15 boosters who subscribed to his newsletter.

Let one of them hire him. After Texas A&M fires him. Today.
Any one think that the newsletter was leaked to the papers by a disgruntled booster? One of these 12-15 "close to the program" guys that was sick on Fran and took manners into his own hands?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Texas A&M 34, Baylor 10

Yelling at the media must be the new black.

Fran has been running a secret e-mail newsletter sent to select boosters willing to pay $1,200 per year for team information. The newsletter includes specifics on injuries ("A seventh player, Roger Holland, is iffy. He recovered drastically from a mile (sic) concussion carried over from Sunday, but not fully.") and player assessments ("Earvin (Taylor) and Pierre (Brown) are very steady but with average speed. Kerry (Franks) has great speed, but (is) inconsistent in receiving.").